take on many different looks and I
gone again." Jimmy Buffett
Rodney Crowell asks Johnny Cash once, "What do you do to get
Cash said, "Go to the airport
290 times a year."
Ramblin' Jack Elliott in the
Drivers seat of a tour bus
We have talked to Jackson Browne about using
this song for the series
and have green light...stay tuned for more on
Jackson as a Pioneer Troub.
Since Medieval times Troubadours have been
from town to town, totin' a guitar, or some other musical
their songs of poetry and love,
heartbreak and about the roads that they travel.
Minstrel Shows and Medicine Shows to the Rag Operas,
theaters, roadhouse and honkytonks.
The new reality orientation of TV has changed what
people find as exciting. People want more information from
their viewing time. They don't want so
anymore to just see made up Hollywood stories, they want to learn about
something that is more a view of "reality."
For anyone in the music business the road is the reality, sound checks
are reality, hotel rooms and truck
stops are reality. Hanging on the bus for hours upon hours is the
A very interesting part of the music business
and the entertainment business itself is the life on the road. I am not
troubadour life on the road. The
weeks and months living in the tour busses, load in
and set up of the sound and
lighting equipment, and many of the other
elements that are put in place the day of a big
concert to make it happen
and become entertainment for the
buyers is a big part of the music business itself.
Most of the troubadours
of today the years past travel the U.S. in
their busses. Much of our show will take
place on and around these
wagons that move music down the white lines...
Truck that holds the stage and screens for the
Merle Haggard UFO Festival in New Mexico
Norm has been on the road with Haggard for many moons
My hat don't hang on the same nail too long. My ears can't stand to hear the same old song. An' I don't leave the highway long enough, To bog down in the mud. 'Cos I've got ramblin' fever in my blood.
Caught this ramblin' fever long ago, When I first heard a lonesome whistle blow. If someone said I ever gave a damn, Man, they damn sure told you wrong. I've had ramblin' fever all along.
RAMBLIN' MAN BY MERLE HAGGARD
The concert business is a very key element to the music business overall.
Not only is it a place where really most of
the acts make their money, but the concert tours are what actually
boost the music sales for a certain artist or
record label. The artist CD sales go up during the days of pre concert
hype, and the days shortly after their gig. Now, we
also have the fact that many artist are having to go out on the road
to make money, in that the Internet has caused
many of the big music labels to shut down their A & R departments,
labels are merging and the sales of music CDs
are at a all time low.
Travel and the life of troubadours
is a reality of the singer and musician...
Nelson said once..."I went home to my
has a sign in his bus and
"Living on the
bus, Fleck concedes, "isn't for everybody. It's tight in there, and
it's a real party
all the time. You
have to be OK with that." On a plane, you have to get up very early
after staying up very late
and sit in an uncomfortable chair for a long time. On a bus, you
sit around and watch TV or lay down
in your own bunk." Bela Fleck
We will show the viewer the experience of the plans that it takes to build
a tour from the time the artist meet with the
producers to design the feel, the stage, the lighting and sound and
other elements of the show. These huge stages
are built by companies then packed in several 18-wheeler trucks to
move the stage lighting, sound and equipment
from city to city. This is a great visual...with fun shots
in the truck stops, diners, hotels and other stops along the way.
Three of Merle Haggard's buses behind theater in Arizona
Three of Mr. "On The Road Again" himself Willie Nelson's
buses parked backstage at Merle Haggard's UFO Music Fest.
Earnest Tubb's bus
said about his bus, Unit One:
"I have a home that takes
me anywhere I want to go, that cradles and
comforts me,that lets me nod off
in the mountains and wake up on the plains, my bus, of course...When I make it off the
plane and through another airport, the site of that big blackMCI waiting by the curb
sends waves of relief through me."
"Myself, I've lived out
here so long and know it all so well that I can wake up any- where in the United States,
glance out the bus window, and pinpoint my position towithin five miles...Like
the song says, I've been everywhere, man. Twice.
During and around sound check we will set and talk with different
folks that are part of the show from roadies,
truck and bus drivers, the entertainers themselves, and some of the
support crew like guitar and drum techs,
caterers, promoters and T-shirt sales guys. ON THE ROAD will
show some of the logistics of getting the acts
from the hall to the hotel rooms and then back to the venue again.
We will record and show the pre show
excitement as the people begin to file into the concert halls
and then the excitement of the band and crew
before the show.
Merle Haggard and Bob Dylan's buses in Seattle
Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Buck Page and Norm Stephens
chat some about being a troubadour...
on the road again I went home to my bus home sweet bus road warriors highway hobos hitting the road knights of the road Semi Trailer Trucks tour buses rock n' roll buses roadies backstage groupies load in and load out airports truck stops
I got a big bus with a TV and a bar and a
Room in the back for me and my ole guitar Gotta stop and fuel up every five hundred miles Give a picture to the waitress eat a little breakfast country styleThat's my life and I love it...
We get home to Nashville on a Monday night Record songs on Tuesday and on Wednesday
take out the wife.
But then on Thursday night it's back on the road I don't care if it's Montana or down in Louisiana
just as long as I goThat's my life and I love it...
Sasu Weh and Buffalo
"A lot of people feel
they should be able to do anything they want when they're at
home, a nd that bus is home to a touring singer. I've carried
barbeque grills on my buss and stopped by the side of the road,
away from people, to eat and relax before I climb back on
and going to the next town. To thisday I sometimes arrive
in a town where I've already paid for a nice hotel room.
But there are plenty of times I never seethe hotel's interior.
I'd rather dress on my bus. George Jones
"On the road again
Like a band of gypsies we go down the
We're the best of friends
Insisting that the world be turnin' our
And our way
Is on the road again
Just can't wiat to get on the road again
The life I love is makin' music with my
And I can't wait to get on the road again."
Nelson and Family
"We're on the road babe! It's
heavy stuff. New blood, new places,
new faces...we'regetting our first taste of what the
future holds in
store: A steady diet of greasy burgersand cardboard in-flight
from one backstage bunker to another
interchangeable airport lounges
and indistinguishable hotel rooms.